Marie-Helene’s Apple Cake -French Fridays with Dorie

by cakeduchess on October 29, 2010 · 26 comments


When I saw that the next recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book was an apple cake, my eyes got really big and I started to smile. :)

I love apple desserts. I checked the ingredients and found that it was very similar to a recipe I make often that is my mother-in-law’s.  The cake was buttery and full of sweet apples. It is void of spices, yet bursting in flavor. Perfect with a cup of caffe’ latte or a nice hot tea. Or a big glass of milk.

Kids approved. The Chef approved. This recipe is a keeper. Merci Dorie.

(This is a fictional story I wrote inspired by these recipes.) 

A week had passed so quickly. The same routine was comforting and at times stifling. Chantal was trying to forget about what happened the week before. She just couldn’t stop thinking about Jean-Marc and was confused because of the total lack of communication. Any excuse would have been better than no excuse. But they hardly knew each other and she convinced herself that there shouldn’t have been any expectations. It had been a while since she had opened her heart up to anyone and she believed she could give him at least a chance.
The last customer left the boulangerie. Chantal hung up her apron in the back and heard the door open one more time. She was surprised to see his face. She tried to hide her excitement and was aloof. Jean-Marc could sense that he maybe lost her forever and he held out his hands to her to make contact. She reached out and followed him. Words were not spoken while they were walking in the crisp, cool air. Every thing felt right. That walk. That moment. Chantal was waiting for an explanation, yet didn’t want to tarnish this silence that was unifying them. They turned a corner or two and arrived at an unfamiliar building. Jean-Marc explained that this is where he was last week and he wanted her to meet someone.

They walked up the stairs and the sweet smell of apples filled the narrow staircase. Then she saw her. This adorable face with little glasses. Thick grey hair. A rose patterned apron. She introduced herself as Marie-Helene, Jean-Marc’s grandmother. Jean-Marc stepped away for a moment. Marie-Helene showed Chantal what she baked that afternoon. In the windowsill there was a gorgeous apple cake cooling. Jean-Marc returned with hot tea and some cups and they all took a seat at her tiny kitchen table that was covered with a delicate lace table cloth. Marie-Helene offered Chantal a slice of the apple cake.

Marie-Helene and Jean-Marc shared the same brown eyes and a bond that was palpable. Marie-Helene told Chantal how she hadn’t been feeling well recently. She explained how she wouldn’t be able to manage without the support of Jean-Marc. Jean-Marc was all she had and he meant the world to her. Jean-Marc looked over at Chantal as if to say, “I’m sorry”. Chantal smiled and took another bite of the delicious cake. She sat back with her hot cup of tea and enjoyed Marie-Helene’s stories. It was a memorable night spent with wonderful company.

(You could read the first part of the story of Chantal and Jean-Marc here: Paris: A Love Story
We aren’t publishing the recipes from Dorie’s Around My French Table. If you would like the recipe, you will have to buy the book. I think you won’t regret it. :)

I think you should become a part of this fun! Join  French Fridays with Dorie here and follow along on twitter.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels October 29, 2010 at 3:18 am

I’ve been waiting anxiously for you to post this! Oh it’s just soooo delicious looking, I want to devour the whole thing. YUM YUM! You did such a wonderful job. Thank you so much for encouraging me to do FFWD! I can’t wait to make our next recipe. :)


sara @ CaffeIna October 29, 2010 at 3:41 am

I love apple cakes too! You did a great job! It looks wonderful


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite October 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

I *loved* this cake too – we had it for Thanksgiving dessert. So easy and so fab – it’s entering my roster of “must makes”!!


Lizzy October 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

Beautiful cake!


saffronandhoney October 29, 2010 at 10:57 am

Makes me feel all cozy & comfy – wonderful!


Pretend Chef October 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm

First recipe of the morning to get my stomach growling! Must get in my belly now!


Kristen October 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

looks wonderful! It’s the first I’ve heard of French Fridays, I’ll have to check it out


KY October 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Delicious slice of cake. I like your story too!


happywhennothungry October 29, 2010 at 1:25 pm

This cake is beautiful and looks so yummy and comforting. Thanks for sharing :-)


Sis. Boom. October 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I love that these recipes is inspiring you to write. They are having that effect on me too!


Ken│hungryrabbit October 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm

J’adore! I smell apples and the cake has comfort written all over it.


Susi October 29, 2010 at 3:19 pm

This cake looks fabulous. Very similar to a cake my mom bakes which is one of my favorites! :o)


Elisabeth October 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Lora-This is truly a beautiful and delicious apple cake. It is very similar to the Italian version of this.


Flourchild October 29, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I like your story and your cake looks so good! I enjoyed it is a great fall recipe!


blackbookkitchendiaries October 29, 2010 at 7:43 pm

this cake is so pretty:)thank you for sharing this recipe. have a nice weekend.


Mary October 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Loved the story…great post.


Tia October 29, 2010 at 11:27 pm

cute story! and pretty cake too :)


Carolyn October 29, 2010 at 11:31 pm

A beautiful cake, it looks so simple and yet so delicious!


Sandra October 30, 2010 at 1:25 am

Now I know what to do with all the apples that are sitting around looking at me. It looks great.


Eileen October 30, 2010 at 1:36 am

Apple cake sound scrumptious. Nice story too!


The Mom Chef October 30, 2010 at 2:47 am

Oh wow, that does look fantastic. I’ll have to check out the French Friday thing since I am, after all, French.


A Thought For Food July 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve made this cake. It is so fabulous and easy and is always a hit.

Reply November 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Just discovered your blog and am enjoying browsing. I loved this post for Marie Helene’s Apple Cake! I, too, made it and posted it recently ( although I much prefer your write-up! :-)


Anonymous November 29, 2011 at 2:37 am

I can’t find this recipe on this page. I would like to have it. Can any one help? Thanks.


Anonymous November 29, 2011 at 2:39 am

Oops! Correction. I can’t find the recipe on this page. Thanks again.


Anonymous November 29, 2011 at 2:56 am

I just read that I have to buy her book to get the recipe. Disregard my comments. Thanks.


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